Should You Avoid Almond Flour On Low Carb Lifestyle?
When you hear the word ‘gluten free‘ you immediately imagine almond flour, such is the relation. Almond flour is common in grain free, paleo and low carb baking. You get awesomely tender and fluffy goods after baking. However, the much in demand almond flour has a number of detrimental effects. This makes it essential to understand the ill effects of almond flour before using it for cooking.
Almond flour makes you lose perception of quantity
Do you know that one cup of almond flour has 90 almonds in it? That are a lot of almonds to have in one go! This way almond flour is disguising your nut consumption! Had you been chewing whole almonds and had touched 90, your body would probably say that you had more than enough of it. Using almond flour makes your body lose perception of quantity.
Almond flour is way too high in PUFAs
20% of the fat in almonds is polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs. Present day diets are overloading us with PUFAs that is leading to a lot of health problems.
Here is why you should not be consuming to much of PUFAs.
- They slow down the body’s metabolism
- They increase inflammatory response in the body
- Action of certain digestive enzymes gets impaired due to PUFAs.
- They slow down the function of the thyroid
- They affect detoxification enzymes
- They deplete the body of antioxidants
- They cause PMS, acne and weight gain.
It is advisable to restrict PUFAs to just 5 to 8 grams per day. When you consume almond flour, you overload your body with too much of PUFAs.
Almond flour fats are not stable to heat
The double bonds in polyunsaturated fats break when they are subjected to heat. Almond flour, when placed in a hot environment like an oven results in breaking of the double bonds of the PUFAs present and create oxidized fatty acids. Oxidised fats are bad because they are equal to free radicals and free radicals cause damage to the cells. Though we do consume antioxidants from fruits and veggies, consuming too much of almond flour depletes the antioxidants and damages the cells.
This point of fats getting unstable due to heat is debatable. There are other experts who say that the thing is not completely true as the temperature of baked goods is not more than 160F. The temperature is quite below the smoking point of fats that get oxidised and unstable very easily. Well, the nutrition world always has debates going on!
Almond flour has a high amount of enzyme inhibitors
Just like most nuts and seeds, almond flour contains a large amount of enzyme inhibitors. This affects digestion as enzymes are required in digesting the carbs, proteins and fats in our meals.
The presence of enzyme inhibitors in nuts and seeds causes enzyme imbalances, which is manifested as stomach pain and bloating. If you happen to love nuts, you can go ahead and have them after soaking them as soaking denatures the enzyme inhibitors. See, what our grandmothers used say was absolutely right! Almonds especially are soaked overnight before being consumed.
Almond flour has phytic acid in it
Phytic acid prevents the body from absorbing nutrients and is thus called an antinutrient. When almonds are not soaked, they have a high level of phytic acid in them. However, when we talk of almond flour, the brown skin is removed and it is this skin that has most of the phytic acid. So, phytic acid is not a big issue when we talk of almond flour.
Consume almond flour in moderation
You should be consuming almond flour in moderation. You can have one almond flour treat in one month. It would be advisable to keep it for special occasions.
Alternative to almond flour for low carbers
Coconut flour is a healthier alternative to almond flour. Coconut flour has saturated fat that is safe when heated and non-toxic to the body. However, you should not overdo it! Limit your intake to 2 to 4 tbsp of coconut flour in a day.
Hope I have cleared your doubts!
Have almond flour in moderation!
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